Michael LaBelle is an Associate Professor at the Department of Economics and Business and at the Department of Environmental Sciences and Policy of the Central European University. He teaches courses on energy policies and technologies, including sustainability and innovation. His research is centered on the interaction of government institutions and private companies and how they foster innovation in energy technologies and contribute to a low carbon future. Professor LaBelle’s current research concentrates on the policies and regulations behind Central Europe’s energy systems, including geopolitics of gas and electricity markets. He has published widely on the attempt to foster a shale gas industry in Eastern Europe, notably in Bulgaria and Poland. In addition, he is conducting research on smart energy technologies and how policies and regulations influence innovation in the energy sector in the CEE region. Previous work assessed the efforts of institutions in the European Union to encourage the use of new low or zero carbon technologies in the energy sector, including energy efficiency measures. Much of his research involves issues of risk governance, with special attention paid to the sunk cost of energy investments. In addition, he has written peer reviewed articles and consulting publications on the strategic movement of energy firms and the regulatory environment in the Central Eastern European region. Notably, in 2012 he presented a report for the European Parliament on the political-economic factors influencing shale gas development in Poland and Bulgaria.
Previously, Dr. LaBelle was a member of the Atlantic Council’s Emerging Leaders in Environmental and Energy Policy Network. He worked in the CEU Center for Climate Change and Sustainable Energy Policy (3CSEP) and at the Regional Center for Energy Policy Research (REKK) at Corvinus University. He has worked on projects for the European Commission, United States Agency for International Development, the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners, Energy Regulators Regional Association and with energy consulting companies and European universities. He holds an MSc and PhD in Geographical Sciences from the University of Bristol.